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The Kouzes Posner Model

Only the naïve, ignorant, or arrogant can claim to understand and have all the answers for the complexities of leadership. Kouzes and Posner is neither of the aforementioned characteristics yet they have addressed the nuances of leadership in fine manner. With each chapter one can find much assistance for the art of leading. Tom Peters’ comments on the book by saying, leadership books are a dime a dozen, and most do not last a week. The Leadership Challenge has lasted because it is research-based, practical and has heart (Posner, 2007). The Leadership Challenge introduces several key concepts that one must adhere if leadership is to be effective. One will find in the following discourse the five practices of exemplary leadership. Kouzes and Posner describes the key concepts as model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable other to act, and encourage the heart. Without sounding too arrogant, a little ignorant or a bit naïve one will concur that each of these ideas will go along way towards the improvement of one’s leadership.

Model The Way

Modeling the way is establishes through the use of a well thought out value system. The noun value is an old English word deriving from Latin valere. Value means to be strong, of worth, worthiness, or be of value (Burril, 1867). It seems like today the word values conveys the worth of something in an economic sense. Questions like what is valuable in life should force one to seek wisdom from above. One could easily incorporate into an organization values if it were not for the convoluted and varied value systems brought by employees. Values are dependent on what the hierarchy deems important. You have to be honest with your self in order to be honest with others (Posner, 2007, p.46). Leaders must ask if they spend enough time teaching and learning about values as virtues not economics. The ancient writer Matthew pens that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Biblesoft, 1995, NASU). Logic deems that what one dwells on is what one of values.

Value is like Perspective

How one looks at things and what one see when one looks: There was this little kid he was so excited that he had pulled a cornstalk out by its roots. When his father congratulated him, he beamed. And just think, he said, the whole world had hold of the other end of it (author unknown).

Perspective is often created when leadership begins to voice and example what is important. However, and most important, the leader must be credible. If you do not believe in the messenger, you will not believe the message (p. 47). Leading is not barking off commands or reciting motivational sermons; leaders must be the example by participating in the process of what they ask others to do. The evidence of personal commitment is leading by example. The mentoring experience provides an ideal situation to model the way.


Most hotels make available a safety deposit box too protect one’s valuables. These boxes are full of diamonds, gold, and cash. The deposits of a leader should encompass honesty, competence, forward-looking and inspiring. Honesty is the capstone of trust. If subordinates do not trust leadership, leadership is non-existent and what prevails is organizational survival of the fittest. Competence speaks to the requirement that all leaders must be held accountable for their work. If after proper training and due process competence is not obtained, the leader in questioned must be quickly removed. Forward-looking illustrates what is crucial to decision-making. Leaders must always look ahead to avoid obstacles that may hinder organizational goals. The best response is proactive. Lastly, leadership is inspiring. Of these four, inspiring others is the core leadership competence that is most crucial.

Effective leaders bring out the best in others. They understand that organizations are made up of networks of conversation, and that engaging these networks skillfully is a central part of leadership. These leaders inspire warm and caring relationships and set the tone for authentic conversation. An inspiring leader cultivates high-performing teams and a collaborative culture.


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